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tv   Nightline  ABC  September 18, 2009 11:35pm-12:05am EDT

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and watch in up to six others. (cable guy) you can do that with cable! call the verizon center for customers with disabilities living room. at 800.974.6006 tty/v bedroom. at 800.974.6006 tty/v kitchen. (announcer) get the multi-room dvr from verizon fios tonight on "nightline," food fight. how the search for healthy food can lead to some very unhealthy choices. it's everything you need to check out before you hit the checkout. into the wild, what is it really like to survive alone in the wilderness? >> i saw a bear. >> this man went to find out and it nearly killed him. and the bubble burst. as "guiding light" disappears today after 72 years, why the end of soaps is tonight's "sign of the times".
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captions paid for by abc, inc. good evening, everyone. i'm terry moran. tonight, the latest battle in the food wars. that raged down the aisles of your local supermarket. this time, it's about a new label. you may have seen when you're pushing your cart down the cereal aisle or the cookie section. little green check mark and it's a seal that says smart food. it's meant to let you know nutritionists rate that food a healthy choice. but among the packages bearing the smart food seal are things like cookies. fudge. pops. i even fruit loops. fruit loops, maybe, maybe not. john donvan has this report for our series "you what you eat". >> as a cook, you should make your own tomato sauce.
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and by the way -- >> mark bittman likes food. >> an apple is like something to build you up and it has fiber. >> just not the kind you find on most shelves of the supermarket. get a box of fruit loops in his hands and the sarcasm comes flowing. >> first of all, who invented the spelling? >> but his real issue with the loops and let's zoom in on the green check mark and the words smart choice, they drive him well, in this context, can we say bananas? >> fruit loops has no fruit it in, just to set the record straight. i has more sugar per serving than cookies. >> we went hunting for check marks. i was confused by the check marks because i'm seeing here -- this is smart choices. >> right. >> we found plenty because for about a month now, this little logo has been showing up on hundreds of items. it signifies that the food in
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the package or the box or the jar that it's met a certain standard. not a government program, but a rating system jointly agreed to after two years of talks among food companies, a panel of nutritionists and others. the question is what's the standard. >> when sugar is 40% by weight of the product, what is the product? the product is dessert, not breakfast cereal. >> but there's added vitamin a and c and fiber. >> but you can put vitamins and minerals in garbages, as long as the garbage is low in fat. >> we went down looking at who does not get a check mark. here's peanut butter. >> it's a great example. we have check mark on skippy's, america's favorite peanut butter. it has peanuts, hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fats, not things you want to eat too much of. then you have this store brand.
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no check mark. and it contains peanuts and salt. so, i mean, if you want -- >> this is better than that, but is it paying to be part of the check mark program? >> it's not an argument, this is a fact. >> obviously there is an argument. just not one that mark bittman is going to accept ever. >> no, i'm not going to cut them the benefit of the doubt. >> but puzzled by smart choice fruit loops we went an open mind to talk with one of the nutritionists behind the check mark and one of first things he said is -- >> fruit loops has been the poster child for the critics. >> because as richard caan who was the chief medical officer, because the smart choice program is about so much more than fruit loops, and is a good thing. >> we believe the smart choices logo can move people up the ladder away from high fat foods,
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high foods with sugar content, foods with high cholesterol in them. i think we can move people by gradually saying this is a smarter choice than you have been taking before. >> here's the point. americans eat lots of processed foods. so give them a way to know that certain processed foods are, well, you can put it this way, less lacking in nutrition than others. >> actually one of the goals of the program is to get companies to reformulate the foods. >> companies who agree to the program and most are in it now, they apply to be certified for the check mark of the basis of what's in the product and they pay up to $25,000 per product and as low as $5,000. for example this tyson's chicken product gets the check mark because it has only 95 milligrams of sodium per serving and this one misses the cut because it has 350 milligrams of sodium. it comes from federal guidelines
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that sets 140 milligrams as the upper limit for the low sodium. >> we go to udda food guidelines, government sanctioned guidelines and say that's the fundamental foundation and crux for what we do. all the criteria are based on the food guidelines. >> so fruit loops, well, we have mark bittman saying things like this. >> if i take a pile of saw dust and inject some nutrients and add some sugar and turn it into something that tastes good is that okay? >> and richard caan who says yes, actually, if you leave out the saw dust. >> they're actually better because the company reformulated the product so it could get the smart choice. >> and indeed fruit loops has an upgrated ingredient list. it has the cholesterol zero than are established by the federal
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guidelines and also added vitamin a, c and fiber that exceeds what the guidelines say should be in a serving. >> sugar is the major ingredient. >> it represents 5% of the total amount of sugar consumed by the average child in a course of a day. so it really isn't -- i'm not here to advocate for fruit loops. >> that's right. this cereal is 41% sugar. which is more than you'll find in a serving of nutter butters or chips ahoy or famous amos, but the 12 gram of sugar meets the federal guidelines. and besides that's where the flavor. you're saying the flavor is the bait. >> right. because americans are not eating breakfast. >> tell that to mark bittman. you would not be impressed if one of the results of this program and of a public beginning to embrace the green check mark would be that food manufacturers actually start to inject more identifiable
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nutrients, vitamin c, fiber, into their products. at a minimum would at this not make them nutrient delivery systems? >> you know, john, i don't know how long ago white bread was invented where all the nutrients were taken out and then the government mandated that it needed to be enriched. i mean, you're taking stuff out, putting it back in, there's profit at every -- there's profit at every step. >> their check mark is not going on all the products by a long shot. it's not like we're putting this on everything. i'm perfectly delighted for a company to benefit by having this check mark on it. >> well, we will have to see whether the green check mark does change habits and helps americans gets healthitheheathe. caan says that will take years.
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>> what does it make it? does that make it good? >> that is the question. i'm john donvan for "nightline" in new york. >> and so it's the smart choices label there. thanks to john donvan for that. when we come back, how this man's attempt to survive alone in the wild turned into a nightmare. we need a new grid. more than half the energy never reaches a single light bulb. is that true? it's true. we need a smarter grid... smarter thermostats... smarter utility meters... smarter houses... [doorbell rings] smarter cities... smarter infrastructure... smarter networks. connect them all together... and what do you got? smarter energy grid. smarter planet... wasting less energy. that's what i'm working on. i'm an ibmer. let's build... let's build a... smarter planet. get wrapped up in the luscious taste
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how would you survive in the wilds of the yukon by yourself without any human contact whatsoever? nick watt met a man who try good it alone for three months and nearly lost his mind, and his life in the process. it's tonight's edition of "nightline into the wild". >> i spent a summer trying to survive completely alone in the
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far north of canada, miles from anyone and any place. it was a boyhood dream for me. what have i accomplished? >> the plan, three months totally alone in the yukon wilderness, home to 17,000 bears. >> a bear in. >> eating what he can kill. >> that is my dinner tonight. a bit of porcupine liver. >> living off the land. a young californian, christopher mcand canless tried to live like this in alaska. he died trying. it was captured in the movie "into the wild". ed filmed himself for a national geographic show called "into the wild". >> that's brilliant. >> but his dream in many ways became a nightmare. did you ever turn off the camera and bawl your eyes out?
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>> no, i did that on camera. i promised them that i would do everything in i could on camera. even if i didn't feel like speaking i'd still turn the cameras on. >> july 3, the dream began well. he is an outdoors guy, he's climbed everest, trekked to the north pole. but -- >> i'm not a skilled woodsman. i haven't been doing this all my life. i don't do survival training. >> finding food was tough. by law he wasn't allowed to hunt moose or even ducks. >> beautiful. >> filming was tough. >> before i went out there, i thought that talking to the camera every day would help me. it would be like having another person there. >> it worked the other way. for the camera, wardal was forced to express and confront his fear. pain and longings. >> if i wasn't making a film, i would have been staying well away from the subjects because they're difficult to deal with out there and thai make me sad. >> filming his fight for
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survival made survival even harder. >> i think everything takes two or three longs as chopping down a tree. >> a psychologist had advised him to pray as a form of contact with another being. >> i put my hands together one night. and i was about to pray and sudd suddenly, my girlfriend's voice popped into my head like she was on the end of a phone line. so a couple of times i guess i had these imaginary phone calls back home, which sounds pretty strange now. but it felt good. it helped me out at time. you know? it smells of my girlfriend's perfume. that could make somebody cry. >> in every way he was tested to the limit. wardal lost 28 pounds. slowly starving to death.
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>> i realized that my heart rate had become very slow, 28 beats per minute is how it is normally for me. >> did you go a bit nuts? >> um, it's difficult looking back at the footage of me out there crying quite a lot and being miserable and more so towards the end. i don't know if i'm going to make it. i don't know if i'm going to [ bleep ] die. i don't think i was nuts, but it was certainly a very unusual situation and an unusual psychological state to be in. i don't know if i can do this anymore. i don't know. i can't get -- the worst moment for me was calling in and saying that's it, i've had enough. i need to get out. >> that moment came after 50 days. he managed just seven of the planned 12 weeks in the wild.
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he's been criticized in newspapers and the blogosphere for being underprepared. his producers accused of explowation -- exploitation. do you think you were irresponsible? >> for those who said i haven't trained to go out there properly, all of us normal people should stay within the city walls and remain scared an watch as a small elite group of people get to do the things we dream about. i think that's wrong. >> wardal was airlifted from his dream by flight boat. taken to a hotel for a steak, a beer and a shower. and an emotional return to civilization. >> i really don't know why i've been crying so much. something to do with being al e alone. i've lived alone in the wild for 50 days and really i'm happy i did that. i look back even on the hard
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times now. and i will never forget this. it's been a really amazing journey. and -- i get to go home now. >> the three-part series alone in the wild premieres next wednesday, september 23 on the national geographic channel. thanks to nick watt for that report. when we come back, as the lights go out at "guiding light", what's wrong with the soaps? that's tonight's "sign of the times".
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the "guiding light" went out today. generations of fans mourned the last episode of the most ancient of all soap operas, which ended after more than 70 years on tv and radio and over 15,000 episodes. john beman takes a look at the death of the daytime soap opera on tonight's "sign of the times". >> i want you, reba. >> today's the day the light went out in springfield. after 72 years, "guiding light" and its fictional hometown are no more. a quiet ending for a tv show created before television itself. >> i'm sorry, what'd you say? >> i know how anxious you are for us to have a family.
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>> these are tough times for soap city. in the 1970's there were 16 network soap operas. now just seven remain. seven. why, the immortal erica kane has had more husbands than that how many times has she been married? >> ten. >> is that enough? ask. >> maybe not for her. >> so what's the problem for soaps? frank valentini is in charge of "one life to live". >> i think the market is fractured that people are either multitasking entertainment wise, surfing, watching tv and listening to dvd all at once. >> is it harder? >> i think there are more choices. >> more choices certainly than 1981 when luke and laura's wedding on "general hospital" pulled in 30 million viewers. now soaps are lucky to pull in three million. will we ever see the days of the
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luke and laura wedding again? >> i don't know that we'll see that in daytime anymore, those kind of numbers. there's certainly that kind of commitment. there's certainly the interest. but people are recording. or they're reading about it. or they're looking at it streams online. >> the remaining soaps are taking drastic measures to stay afloat. nbc laid off deirdre hall who had been on "days of our lives" for 32 years. and in pine valley home to "all my children", even susan lucci who plays erica kane reportedly had to take a pay cut. >> here i felt it in a couple of ways. there's the missing faces on the studio floor. and that's sad because we really are an ensemble from top to bottom, not just a company of actors but the crew, very much so. to meet the economic crunches, everybody has pitched in and
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everybody had stepped up to the plate and we have tightened it where we can. >> one thing they're not tightening is not imagination. how many have you slept with? >> four. >> four at different times? >> easy there, john. >> and while the numbers of fans might be dwindling, their fervor is not. >> who's your favorite character of all time? >> susan lucci. >> i will not let my fans down! and i will not let myself down. >> i have watched it since i was a baby. she had me watching it. i have been watching for 30 years. >> sometimes i pretend i was living there. >> you ready? >> always. >> those who stuck with "guiding light" for generations will have to find a new tv family, with new tv dysfunctional. it might be a sad irony that at the very time soaps are having the biggest struggles it might be the time when we need them
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most. >> in a bad economy, that's when the audience really wants to watch something that helps them both escape and that's instructive and hopeful and exciting and fun. >> i'm john berman for "nightline" in new york. >> the end. our thanks to john berman for that. when we come back, big bankers are getting their pay regulated. it's tonight's "closing argument."
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